Surprise! Shroud of the Avatar is now officially free-to-play

    
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All according to keikaku or something

Have you taken advantage of the fact that Shroud of the Avatar has gone free-to-play yet? Or are you staring at that with some confusion because you didn’t realize the game was officially free-to-play before now? Either answer is right; while the last set of patch notes mentioned improvements to the “free player” experience, it’s only this week that press releases have been sent out confirming that Portalarium is now officially calling the game free-to-play.

The aforementioned patch focused on a more positive new player experience that clearly helps to smooth the experience of free players, along with removing restrictions on land ownership and story progression. It is a bit odd, however, that so little would be said about the “transition” to free-to-play until after it had happened and no one had noticed it (aside from some of our savvy commenters). The game’s Steam charts may illustrate some of the reason behind the shift, though (keeping in mind, of course, that Steam does not list all of the game’s players).

Source: Portalarium press release

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Yaner

Pushing a game on Early Access is hard enough without making it a subscription based game to boot. I avoided it because of that.

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Victor Didra

It was B2P, now it’s F2P, there was never a mandatory subscription. There is a new “support the game” subscription but it’s totally voluntary.

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Yaner

Maybe I was mistaking it for another game, but I swore it had a subscription at the beginning.

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Victor Didra

Must be another one. Shroud was originally Kickstarted, then development was continued through store items. It’s been a community supported project the entire time, kind of squeaking by really.

The optional sub was introduced something like four or five months ago, but they are on month 60 of development.

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Carebear

If I liked it I would play it either as b2p or even as subscription. Nothing changes for me.

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markfromindy

I didn’t hate it, but it probably was the most disappointing game I ever backed. Honestly, if you want to try an old-school feeling MMO that’s fun, I’d recommend Project Gorgon.

seculaparsec
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seculaparsec

Im waiting for the Steam Sales when they start giving me money to play this

cambruin
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cambruin

Awesome comment. Really :)

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Jack Pipsam

I should try it out again with the revamped newbie thingy, but boy I wasn’t impressed at launch when I played it.

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Utakata

So let me get this straight, as I have admittedly not being following this title…was this the game made by that developer who sent himself off into space as a tourist and sold his blood on EBay or something?

*Pigtails glances down at Mr. Schlag’s latest editorial gif contribution*

I think it is! Probably why I wasn’t following this game. Good to know it’s F2P now? o.O

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maydrock .

Is the card combat mini-game gone? I know there was a gimped option to opt out, but that’s not what I’m asking.

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Victor Didra

It’s not a mini-game, it’s an incredibly deep and customizable system that lets you create any type of combat style you want.

You want a normal MMO bar? You got it. Want to build part of the bar so it gives you a select number of skills at random, which can be combined or stacked? You got it.

Want to be a heavy armor archer that uses death magic and tames animals? Not a problem. Double dagger combo parry riposte build? Go for it. Add in shields or one of the 9 magic schools. Concentrate on avoidance or damage mitigation. All up to you. And how fast or slow the possibilities coming your way are is up to you too.

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Suikoden

The way you describe it Vic, it sounds awesome. But I have to agree with Maydrock, that was a major turn off for me as well. It will probably be one of those systems we look back at in one of Justin’s archaeology articles and refer to it as “ahead of its time.”

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Victor Didra

It might turn out like that. Or they just need a serious “Here’s the DEEP part of combat” tutorial. There’s still no guidance on it. I just found out that you can combo from a locked glyph to an unlocked one, and I’ve been play for over two years now! Time to redesign all of my decks based on that new revelation.

And I know for a fact that a lot of new players have no idea how the advanced combat works dozens of hours into the game. I always recommend they watch some advanced combat tutorials because otherwise they are in late game fights and don’t know about charging up glyphs and such.

I think that lack of in game advanced combat guidance results in a large amount of the dislike the combat system receives. If players don’t know it exists, how can we expect them to be good at it?

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zuldar

Gave it a shot but the fps performance was pretty bad, not as bad as Bless but still pretty poor.

Gameplay wise it feels like something that would have came out a decade ago. Whether that has a nostalgic or just a dated feel will certainly be a matter of opinion. Could definitely use some more polish though.

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Bruno Brito

Same. Just played a bit. This game is way heavier than it should be.

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johnd212

I’ve given the game several tries and kept coming back because I kept hoping they would improve it. The dialog trees and ways you get quests were just too complicated. In the end it continues to just feel unfinished and unpolished.

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David Goodman

I spent $20 to get access early, and I feel like I got my $20 worth; i don’t feel ripped off or slighted in the least. I’ve spent more money on less valuable things, and recently.

But … i’m not particularly interested in picking it up. It’s a neat little title, but it doesn’t have the Ultima feel that I was looking for. Even though you could use locked decks, the card / faux card-based battle system seemed…. a very odd choice. It was annoying to group up and try to keep up with another person, at least at the time that I played, and questing took low / brand-new character through zones with enemies that could waste you without a second thought. Particularly if you weren’t using the right skills.

It might have changed since then. I hope it has; I hope it’s gotten better and that it does well with the F2P transition (although that’s not enough to save games these days, anymore, as we’ve learned with Wildstar).

But the truth of the matter is that there’s just soo much out there already, so many vast, uncountable hours of games and entertainment, and it didn’t launch in a position where I felt like it could compete with that.